Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31, 2010 - Aethel


Aethel is the a dipthong but generally has an “e” sound

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from

An estate is very dear to every man,
if he can enjoy there in his housewhatever is right and proper in constant prosperity

Aethel (which in this spelling is the Anglo-Saxon word noble, other spellings are ethel [estate] and othal[heritage]) is a rune that is about land, family and ancestry, home and inheritance. Generally when it appears in a reading, it indicates a need to look to ones home and to work within it. All things might be going well, and so now is the time to enjoy it and appreciate it.

In searching for the vowel sound of this rune, I had to google a few times, as the different spellings have different meanings. I did find some interesting things. Aethel was the popular first name for several early kings of England, with each son having a name that started with Aethel. As ethel/othal it general indicates the rune, as that is the name most commonly accepted with it. It has a few associations, some not so pleasant (Neo Nazi movements, White Power movements and other lamentable ideologies). It’s sound is apparently a dipthong from the Greek language that has survived in English, French and German, although used differently within each language. In English, it is often written out as “oe” while American English has just removed the “o” completely (an example from Wikipedia was foederal, which is now federal).

The image of the rune, in a stylized version is called the trollcross (swedishtrollkors) which was used as a pendant and an image to protect valuable objects. This of course makes a great deal of sense in the meaning of the word as heritage, estate and noble, things of great and enduring value.
In rune inscriptions, placing this rune before a name on an object, indicates that the object belongs to that person. While the usage seems ordinary, to me it seems somewhat magical, as it would quickly indicate a thief if they were caught carrying an item with another person’s name on it.

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